• About CEIBS

    China Depth, Global Breadth

    CEIBS Beijing
  • About CEIBS

    Unmatched China knowledge, proven global expertise

    CEIBS Shanghai
Friday, November 4, 2016

Challenges ahead, but also opportunities

~ CEIBS 5th International Advisory Board Meeting

Shanghai. November 4, 2016 – With big-name consultancies now increasingly offering executive education, what does this mean for business schools such as CEIBS? How is the school adjusting its strategy to meet these changes, along with the varying needs of the domestic and international markets? High-level executives associated with companies including Ferragamo, Tata, Xerox, Infosys, Baosteel, Mindray and Esquel Group weighed in on these issues and more during today’s 5th annual meeting of CEIBS International Advisory Board. They were joined by members of the school leadership, led by Presidents Li Mingjun and Pedro Nueno along with Vice Presidents Ding Yuan and Zhang Weijiong.

In welcoming participants to the meeting President (Chinese) Li Mingjun stressed that, with internationalisation being CEIBS’ core competitiveness, the IAB’s advice and support are vital going forward as the school drafts and implements its new 5-Year Plan. “CEIBS is at an important stage of its development,” he said.

The new 5-Year Plan, according to Vice President Zhang Weijiong, is still based on CEIBS’ mission to educate responsible business leaders versed in ‘China Depth, Global Breath’. He told the group of top level business executives, “Our mission remains the same and our goals are very clear.” In responding to both the local and international business environment and needs, new objectives have been added to some of the school’s long-term goals of being an expert on China within a global context, a role model for management education in China, and a boost for China-EU relations. New goals that focus on innovation and entrepreneurship have been added, reflecting the growing importance of both of these issues, especially in the China market.  

CEIBS has long based its strategy on meeting the needs of the business community and in his presentation Dean Ding Yuan explained how those needs have changed over the years – and how CEIBS has changed in response. “A business school must find its own business model in satisfying the external environment and constantly evolve with the latter,” he said. Thus the evolution that has seen CEIBS 1) mainly providing management education for MNCs doing business in China, to 2) serving the needs of State Owned Enterprises and private companies in China, and now 3) “educating business leaders in the world for China”.

Today’s meeting was the inaugural one for Honorary President of Lorange Institute of Business, Zurich (which CEIBS acquired last year) Peter Lorange who is IAB Co-Chairman.  He spoke about the IAB’s mission to support CEIBS in developing Chinese business leaders for the world, all within the context of a changing global environment that translates into changing needs of CEIBS students and programme participants.

President (European) Pedro Nueno was among the speakers who tackled the second theme of the day, “Business School vs. Consulting Firm”. He outlined the differences and similarities between the two. In his opinion, 25% of professors’ time should be related to consulting as it is a way to ensure that they remain knowledgeable about and relevant to the business world. “You should live the reality of what you teach,” he said.

Among the other presenters were Mr. Wang Xuning, Chairman & CEO of Joyoung Company Limited and Ms. Marjorie Yang, Chairman of Esquel Group. They drew on their professional experience to discuss whether consultancies are a threat to business schools.  Mr. Cai Mingpo, Founder and President of Cathay Capital Private Equity moderated the discussion that followed.

Other participants who contributed valuable ideas at today’s meeting were:

  • Dr. Gao Guofu, Chairman of China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co., Ltd
  • Mr. Ravi Kant, Former CEO, Managing Director/ Vice Chairman, Tata Motors
  • Mr. Michele Norsa, CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo
  • Dr. Richard Thoman, Former CEO of Xerox Corporation
  • Mr. Xu Hang, Founder and Chairman of Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics
  • Mr. Xu Lejiang, Chairman of Baosteel Group
  • Mr. Rangarajan Vellamore, CEO of Infosys China (Substitute for Dr. Vishal Sikka)

Discussions touched on issues including:
- what businesses need from CEIBS (for example as Chinese firms go global)
- the role CEIBS can play in offering advice and support to Chinese companies going global,
- the need for knowledge related to succession in family businesses (in China, the US and Europe)
- the need to ensure that Europe remains a vital part of CEIBS’ future especially with the potential opportunities Brexit may bring,
- the important role that communication (with the market and general stakeholders) plays in Chinese firms’ globalisation efforts,
- and their thoughts on the differences between what consulting firms can offer vs. business schools and vice versa.  

The CEIBS International Advisory Board meeting, held annually in Shanghai, provides an opportunity for Chairmen and CEOs of global businesses to advise CEIBS Presidents and Deans on the school's strategy, teaching programmes and research agenda, and to support the school in its quest for global impact and recognition. The leaders of more than 20 major international and Chinese based companies on the IAB represent diverse global businesses that cover a wide range of industries and have headquarters around the world.


Charmaine N. Clarke